Wednesday, June 7, 2017
The Gradual Slope
“For we were utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” 2 Co 1:8-9.
Let’s face it – LIFE HURTS! We have all felt those times when we were burdened beyond our strength. We have all had circumstances that were disparaging and made life unbearable. Seasons are filled with blessings and difficulties that come and go, escalating our emotions over our faith. We have little control over what flows into our lives and out of our lives. But what we do have control over are our responses to life’s challenges. That is why we must take our emotions to God every time and rely on His character to build the appropriate heart responses. While we might not still be actively sinning, we still drag around broken chains…our flesh nature. God has everything we need to break our chains for a better life, a life anchored in Him. Christ is our example and the journey is progress…not perfection. Perfection comes at the end of our lives.
“Every reaction we have to life flows from the heart. Whatever’s going on in your heart will determine how you respond to your problems and your struggles.” Redeemed, p. 131. That is why you and I must do the heart work with the Holy Spirit. We cannot ignore one part of our life in which we are living in disobedience and expect to partner with the Holy Spirit. He does not impose His work upon us, but invites us to participate in Him in setting us free. This cooperation is intentional, time-consuming and gut-wrenching but will be the very activity that will set us free. We will continue to live out hell on earth until we surrender our weaknesses to the One who can turn them into strengths. Maybe Uncle Screwtape knew what he was talking about in his letter. ‘Indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts. Your affectionate uncle Screwtape.’ The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis.
Thank God that we have the ultimate Signpost – the Holy Bible that is God’s word on all things. Through His character we will respond to life's challenges with the love, grace and mercy that flows into our hearts from God.